Pontoon to receive a new lease of life
A PIECE of local history is to receive major reconstructive surgery before being relocated permanently.
The old Quicksilver pontoon which was used as an underwater observatory for tourists visiting the Great Barrier Reef before being replaced several years ago has been sitting high and dry next to the slipway for several years.
It is now being converted into a houseboat before heading to Airlie Beach where it will be moored permanently.
But George and Kate Collier, who were recently granted a three-year lease to operate the Port Douglas slipway, said refitting the pontoon has not been without its dramas after the 30-tonne pontoon collapsed and fell from the dolly and landed on the concrete floor of the slipway over the weekend.
“It gave us a bit of a fright initially but we were able to reinforce the dolly and some other equipment for lifting it back on to the dolly,” Mr Collier said.
“But the real help came from a very high tide at 9.30 on Monday night and we got right in under the pontoon and lifted it up and then we just used our pulleys to haul it up the railway tracks where it is now being refitted.”
The pontoon has since been stabilised and the refit going ahead as scheduled.
Close call: the old Quicksilver pontoon is being converted to a